After completing my detour to SanFrancisco, I returned home to Portland for Winter Break. The air smelled of victory from the recent Major League Soccer championship win by the Portland Timbers. In trademark Portland-style, the flight attendants gave priority boarding to those wearing Timbers apparel.
I’m surprised by how popular Portland has become in recent years, from food to lifestyle. When I tell people I’m from Portland, instead of hearing “That’s a smaller version of Seattle right?” (Grrr) I now hear “Cool! I’ve been wanting to visit.”
I’m not sure I want people to find this hidden gem before I have fully explored it. Thus, I decided to see more of Portland over break.
Below are my discoveries and re-discoveries (places I visited again):
1. The Willamette Rock(discovery)– I loved the short poem describing the perennial struggle to pronounce the name of this river. It’s the Will-AM-ett River, not the Will-uh-met River.
2. Stumptown Coffee Roasters(discovery): Let’s face it – Portland quietly led the gourmet coffee revolution. When I went to Stumptown, I wondered if the San Franciscan shops I had just visited drew inspiration from here; the atmosphere is similar and Stumptown was founded in the late 1990s, before many of them had opened. Stumptown Coffee is now sold nationwide. I can vouch for their delicious hazelnut latte, and this comes from someone who isn’t a huge coffee fan.
3. Voodoo Doughnuts(re-discovery): This trendy, hole-in-the-wall shop with unique donut combinations had a new Pothole Doughnut that paired perfectly with the Stumptown coffee.
4. Portlandia Statue (re-discovery): Portlandiais a lesser known Portland icon that gained attention from the Netflix show Portlandia. And, that show is neither completely accurate nor totally exaggerated about Portland. Unfortunately, the copyright for photos of the statue appears fairly restricted so no photo here.
5. Portland Aerial Tram(discovery): Riding in the glass-walled tram takes your breath away as you hover over the Portland skyline at a leisurely pace (title photo).
Published on January 16th, 2016
Last updated on January 20th, 2021